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Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

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Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way EIKY-EIDL


For Saturday, April 17, 2021

Today we spend an afternoon flying up the west coast of Ireland. This route is part of the "Wild Atlantic Way," a name for Ireland's 1500 miles of rugged coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. This is a land of promontories, cliffs, dunes, beaches, bogs, bays, and coves. In normal conditions, the winds bluster, the sea sprays, and the clouds race over the sky. A fine place for light plane fun.

We begin at Kerry [EIKY], a small regional airport for commercial and GA operations. Built for passenger service, the airport now provides connections to Dublin as well as Berlin and Manchester (and, previously, London). We head north over rolling countryside to the Shannon Estuary (keeping our eyes open for shipping traffic). We pass over Foynes [FOYNS] which, in the 1930s and 1940s, was the flying boat facility for Imperial Airways/BOAC, Pan American, and American Export. Their luxurious Boeing B314 and Sikorsky VS-44 aircraft spanned the Atlantic to link Europe with North America. (Passengers were either wealthy or essential wartime personnel. A one-way ticket cost $375 in 1940...about $7,000 nowadays.) In another important part of history, Foynes was the birthplace of Irish Coffee!

We land at Shannon Airport [EINN], for many years the busy fueling stop for the majority of transatlantic flights and thus an historically significant airport. Today, Shannon remains important for international tourism flights into Ireland as well as for regional connections with the rest of Europe.


We continue northwest past Lahinch [LINCH], a world-ranked links course and the birthplace of Irish golf. We get a close look at the Cliffs of Moher [MOHR1, MOHR2, MOHR3]. These vertical cliffs, which rise 700 feet above the water, offer visitors an exhilarating walk along the edge. The view attracts about 1.5 million tourists a year. We continue out to the Aran Islands where we have some fun with a "stop-look-and-go" at Inisheer [EIIR], then a quick touch-and-go at Inishmaan [EIMN],  and then a full-stop-and-gather landing at Inishmore [EIIM]. Here you can exercise your Irish language skills when talking to the friendly locals.

Then back to the mainland at Connemara Regional [EICA]. The airport was built in 1992 to support the viability of the Aran Islands and it hosts an Aer Arann Britten-Norman Islander that maintains regular connections with those communities. Continuing west in the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht, we fly over the site of a Chelmsford company's radio telegraph station that in 1907 established the first transatlantic radio service. And in 1919 John Alcock and Arthur Brown completed the first ever non-stop transatlantic flight here [VIMY]. They crash-landed their Vickers Vimy in a bog 500 yards from the Marconi radio station. We continue to Inishbofin [EIIB] on the small tourist island off the western coast. (The opening of this newly-constructed airport has been delayed by Ireland's decade-long budgetary crisis. Our "invited" aerial visit will be hailed by islanders as proof that the airport is economically viable.)

We depart northward over Clare Island to Achill Island in County Mayo. The Atlantic Drive [ATLAN] may be the most spectacular stretch of coastline on the Wild Atlantic Way. After ten miles we turn at Little Saddle Head to enjoy the Cliffs of Croaghaun [CROGH1, CROGH2], the highest cliffs on the Irish coast. After passing the Blacksod Lighthouse [BSOD] we follow the Mullet Peninsula to land at Belmullet Aerodrome [EIBT]. This is a hard-to-identify plain grass field next to the Carne Golf Links.

Heading east, we fly over bogs and then rich farm fields along the northern coast of Co Mayo. We land at Sligo Airport [EISG], sited on a small spit that separates Sligo Harbour from the Atlantic. Some five miles farther east, Sligo is the main seaport and economic and cultural center of this part of Western Ireland.

We turn north toward the Cliffs of Slieve League [SLIV1, SLIV2] at the sea-battered western side of the mountain of the same name. Though less famous than the Cliffs of Moher, these cliffs are almost three times higher. We follow the dramatic coast north and east to our final destination Donegal Airport [EIDL]. A grass strip as late as the 1980s, the airport is now a regional commercial field with service to Dublin and Glasgow. With nearby mountains, beaches and rocky coastline, Donegal was voted as the world's top scenic airport for the last three years running 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The flightplan  (and later in the week perhaps, a Pilots Guide) can be found

This is a low-and-slow flight to enjoy the Irish Atlantic Coast. Recommended are small light aircraft with a "fast cruise" of 130kts. I shall take the Just Flight Arrow III. As ever, fly what you like.

Additional Scenery

MFS Scenery

Shannon (EINN) (This fine rendition uses the jetways of Aerosoft's freeware Paderborn if you have it installed.)
Aran Islands
Inisheer (EIIR), Inishmaan (EIMN), and Inishmore (EIIM). Connemara (EICA).
(For best results with these delightful small sceneries, you want these standard libraries.

Dave's 3d Animals and Dave's 3d People and SDR Scenery Pack v1.1 )

FSX-P3D Scenery
All the airports are enhanced with Orbx EU Ireland. This is the recommended option for FSX and P3D, if you have it.
These George Keogh FSX sceneries are lovely. Not sure if they work in P3D.

Sligo (EISG) and EISG Update, Donnegal (EIDL), Kerry (EIKY), Galway and the Aran Islands and Connemara (EIIM, EIMN, EIRR, EICA), and Small Airports Landclass Update

Two airports are not in the standard FSX-P3D database. Belmullet (EIBT) is in Orbx Ireland. If you don't have this, note that the field is a simple grass strip so any nearby landing on the turf will work perfectly well. Clifden/Inishbofin (EIIB) is a bare island in FSX-P3D. Circling the field will do the job.

Time and Weather
For takeoff on Saturday, set the simulator at 3:00pm local for April 17, 2021. We shall prefer to fly real weather.
As a backup, we can use partial clouds and brisk southerly winds at about 10-20kts. (MFS: Few Clouds. Surface wind out of 220 degrees at 15kts. No gusts.)

Multiplayer Particulars
Date and time: Saturday, April 17, 2021. 1800 UTC
Where: AVSIM RTWR Teamspeak - Casual Flights Channel
Teamspeak Server Address: ts.teamavsim.com
Cross-Platform Multiplayer: JoinFS. Latest version is
here. (FSX, FSX-SE, and P3D and MSFS2020)
Microsoft Flight Simulator Multiplayer: North America East server.

If you want to help others enjoy the multiplayer experience, don't forget to enter your aircraft details on the multiplayer spreadsheet (linked
 here). Your courtesy will save others a lot of time and effort. Thanks!

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--Mike MacKuen


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There is an update available for the JustFlight Arrow III!

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Gunter Schneider

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The Pilots Guide is now posted along with the flightplan here.

Note (2021-04-16). The flight plan has been repaired so that the waypoint labels reflect the names in the written description above. Otherwise, the flight plan is unchanged. Simply download again if you would like the updated file.

--Mike MacKuen


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A few MSFS issues yesterday but a wonderful flight Mike and phenomenal documentation!  You should be a professor!   Well done.



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Was definitely a nice flight (the parts when I wasn't CTD'ing), and GREAT documentation. Norms right, you missed your calling Mike, you should have been a professor!


i7-6700k Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 32GB DDR4 2666 ASUS ROG-STRIX GTX1070

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